Explore San Francisco

Why Rockridge Is Oakland's Most Desirable Neighborhood

How to spend a day along College Avenue exploring the East Bay's upscale, walkable village

Under the rolling Oakland Hills is Rockridge, a picturesque residential neighborhood full of early 20th-century bungalows and independent stores. Follow College Avenue to find great shopping, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Pegasus Books
Pegasus Books has been on College Avenue since 1970. (Courtesy Pegasus Books)


Literary nerds can delight in the selection of new, used and sale books at Pegasus Books. The Staff Picks alone draw quite a crowd, not to mention the hundreds of carefully curated magazine titles available. However, the store’s weekly book events are what give it a sense of community that’s kept it a neighborhood staple since 1969.

Maison d’Etre
Maison d’Etre (©Visit Oakland/Travis D. Jackson)

Get lost in the narrow walkways at Maison d’Etre before deciding on the perfect pillow for your couch. The wide variety of novelties allows the home designer in you to envision a French-inspired pied-a-terre of your own.

Inside Rockridge Market Hall
Inside Rockridge Market Hall (©Visit Oakland)

To get another taste of Europe, Rockridge Market Hall sells imported international goods to the lucky area residents (and visitors) who shop here. French cheeses, Italian olive oils and Swiss chocolates are just a few of its highlights.

Ramen Shop
Spicy tantanmen with black sesame (Courtesy Ramen Shop)


The ramen at Ramen Shop combines Japanese cuisine with California farm-to-table fare, influenced by the three owners’ time spent working at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. An expanded restaurant space, Asian-influenced morning pastry menu and recent launch of ramen takeout kits (summer 2017) show how the restaurant continues to deliver exactly what customers want. That even includes an extensive cocktail list, with a large selection of top-shelf Japanese whiskies. 

Ramen Shop owners Jerry Jaksich, Rayneil DeGuzman and Sam White
Ramen Shop owners Jerry Jaksich, Rayneil DeGuzman and Sam White (©Aya Brackett)

Bite into a delicious slice of deep-dish pizza at Zachary’s Chicago Pizza. Known for its Chicago-style pies, the restaurant also serves up thin-crust pizzas, using the same house-made pizza dough and cornmeal-dusted crust.

Zachary's Pizza
The East Bay's favorite deep dish pizza, Zachary's (Courtesy Zachary's Pizza)

New to the Rockridge scene, Duchess debuted in December 2016 and has become equally popular for both its restaurant and bar. Open for dinner and weekend brunch, patrons should try the braised lamb or duck confit sandwich, depending on the time of day. Then, top off your meal with a Humble Root cocktail made from turmeric tea–infused gin.

 Cole Coffee
The newly remodeled Cole Coffee (©E B photography/Christian Ericksen Photography)


Start your day off right at Cole Coffee, located at the north end of College Avenue. A complete remodel and expansion of the popular café opened in September 2017. Its fresh look complements the same pour-over coffee that has lured locals to this spot for at least 27 years. Ten types of coffee beans, roasted fresh every 24 hours, are available for purchase by the pound. As evening nears, let the Barrel Room entice you to visit. Sit amid shelves of wine bottles just begging to be tasted at this neighborhood wine bar. Because the wine-flight menu changes regularly—focusing on everything from Eastern European wines to Western Italian wines—you’re almost guaranteed to taste a wine you’ve never before tried.